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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need To Pass The Bipartisan Appropriations Package As Soon As Possible

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) today spoke on the Senate floor on the urgent need to pass the bipartisan appropriations package and avoid a government shutdown. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

At about 12:01am tonight, about 70% of the federal government will run out of funding if Congress does not act.

Democrats and Republicans have about thirteen hours to work together to make sure the government stays open. That’s not going to be easy. We will have to work together – and avoid unnecessary delays.

This morning, the House will move first on the funding package, and as soon as they send us a bill, the Senate will spring into action.

To my colleagues on both sides: let’s finish the job today. Let’s avoid even a weekend shutdown. Let’s finish the job of funding the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

There is no reason to delay. There is no reason to drag out this process. If Senators cooperate on a time agreement, if we prioritize working together – just as we did two weeks ago – I am optimistic we can succeed.

But if individual Senators resort to partisanship and stonewalling and dithering, those individuals will almost guarantee that we shut down, and the process could drag into Saturday, Sunday, and possibly beyond.

Now, this appropriations process hasn’t been easy, but I am glad that after months of hard work, we have arrived at a funding package that both sides can be pleased with.

The funding package will go a long way to supporting American families, strengthening our economy, safeguarding our national security. It increases funding for childcare services, boosts disease research and prevention, and funds school mental health programs and suicide prevention – something we so desperately need.

We are strengthening border security. We are protecting our elections. And most importantly, we will have avoided most of the draconian cuts and poison pills that the hard-right has pushed for months.

And once we fully fund the government, we will also avoid the terrible scythe of budget sequestration that has been hanging over Congress since last year.

We’re not done yet, but I’d like to once again thank my colleagues – Chairwoman Murray, Vice Chair Collins – for their outstanding work here in the Senate. I want to thank all the appropriators for their work. I want to thank all their staffs, especially my own staff too, because I greatly appreciate the remarkable work they do every single day.

Getting things done in divided government is hard. Getting things done in this divided government is even harder.

But both sides have come up with a strong funding package that ignores extremism and puts the needs of the country first. That’s a credit to leadership on both sides and I thank them for their work.